A previous review said of the part of Jane Stacey: "Joan took over the role Sep 13, 1948."
First, this implies it was a permanent change, and it was not. Cathy Lewis returned for the rest of the series - reportedly after an illness.
There's conflicting information online about the start and length of the absence. The "first" (by date in title) episode in which Joan Banks appeared in this set is:
Cathy Lewis was back in "50-05-29_ep156_The_Fifty_Dollar_Loan"
repeats of (supposedly earlier by filename) other episodes:
September 19, 2008 Subject:
My_Friend_Irma_47-07-21_ep015_Piano_Lessons_For_Junior.mp3 was 481206 Irma Takes Piano Lessons. It features Joan Banks as Jane rather than Cathy Lewis. Joan took over the role Sep 13, 1948
September 15, 2008 Subject:
My Dear Sweet Scatterbrain
One of the FEW programs 'specially featuring girls. Our Miss Brooks, My little Margie, Little Orphan Annie, Ann of the Airlines, My Favorite Husband,(Something) of the Mounties, KLondike & phone number.... not very many shows featuring feminine prominance.
This was the single working girls' own show that demonstrated that girls out of high school could be comfortably single and make their own living without immorality nor perversion. Sort of the Ancestors of Laverine & Shirley only this particular pair are secretaries.
Level headed steady-as-a-rock older-sisterly (is that a word?) Jane would open each episode recounting some tale of ordinary recent goings on that only her friend Irma Peterson could make so very extra-ordinary! Besides having a truly oblique point of view, Irma could mis-understand just about anything.
A Heart of gold and always the best of intentions made Irma loveable and always forgivable. Irma's secretarial activities made herself indespensible because after re-arrangement, re-filing, and re-organizing.... no one, absolutely NO ONE could find anything needed to continue business without Irma's il-logic to recover necessary data. Punch Cards might be filed under IBM but only after Irma had consulted some resource or other on how to spell I-B-M. The audience had to muse that somewhere in the scheme of things Irma and Gracie were related - CLOSELY.
Irma's misadventures were exacerbated by her perpetually unemployed 'boyfriend' Al who always called her "Chicken". He's the kind of at arm's length boyfriend that seems to maintain an engagement to Irma more at his convenience rather than out of genuine affection. No one in her right mind would put up with HIM and She always managed to escape disaster... They were MADE for each other.
Now Al sounds a LOT like Gillis of 'Life of Riley' - possibly because the character is voiced by John Brown who actually DID voice Gillis AND Digger O'Dell (The Friend-ly Undertaker).
An Extremly popular program with few (by percentage) surviving episodes considering that this program was offered on radio, movies (2), television, and even comic books.
More.... more... Please more NICE entertainment.
Being a blooded Marine Veteran of Viet Nam, I don't like a lot of what passes for entertainment these days. It's never been so much the age as it is the milage.
An' even though My Friend Irma could be catagorized as Fluff an' Nonsense it IS Fun... and preferable to much of today's media.